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Men in Iraqi army uniforms kill 25 in Sunni area

Men in Iraqi army uniforms kill 25 in Sunni area

Gunmen wearing Iraqi military uniforms raided homes in a Sunni village south of Baghdad, killing 25 people, including five women, execution-style, officials said Saturday.
In the hours after Friday night's shootings, Iraqi officials cordoned off the area to search for suspects and helicopters swarmed overhead.
Most of the dead were members of local Sahwa, or Awakening Councils _ one of several names for the Sunni fighters who changed the course of the war when they revolted against al-Qaida in Iraq and joined the Americans in late 2006 and 2007, officials said. The fighters also are also known as Sons of Iraq.
The victims were handcuffed and shot, said a police official who asked that his name not be published because he is not authorized to speak publicly.
Mustafa Kamel, a Sahwa leader south of Baghdad, said the attack happened late Friday in a village in the Arab Jabour area, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of Baghdad. Arab Jabour is a collection of industrial zones, villages and palm and citrus groves in the Sunni belt around Baghdad's southern doorstep.
An official at Iraq's Interior Ministry confirmed the attack and said the victims were 20 men and five women and that the attackers were in military uniform.
He did not give his name because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Many of the Sons of Iraq were former insurgents who later teamed up with the Americans against al-Qaida in Iraq. The move, known as the Awakening, was credited _ along with the surge of tens of thousands of U.S. troops _ in helping quell the violence.
But the question of what to do with these nearly 100,000 people in the long-term remains. The U.S. handed over control last year of the Awakening Councils to Iraq, which pays their roughly $300 monthly salaries.
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Associated Press writer Hamid Ahmed contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-05-13 03:11 GMT+08:00